Stickman Readers' Submissions January 5th, 2009

Farang Man / Thai Lady Relationships

At the start of reading your latest column, I thought you might actually be extending a little bit of sympathy toward the Thai ladies vis-à-vis their relationships with farang men. Alas, I was wrong. Your comments were directed toward the stupidity, naivete, etc., of the men.

While I agree with your assessment of the men’s acumens, I also think the perspective of the ladies should be considered in these circumstances. My guess is that for each farang ‘wronged’ by a Thai lady, there are at least as many ladies who have been ‘wronged’ by their farang men. Some are extreme cases – witness the recent stabbings of women by their farang boyfriends. These are the ones we hear about – the ‘man bites dog’ stories – which seem to outnumber the similar stories in which the lady was the culprit (e.g., barbequing the husband). However, most of the action occurs at the less life-threatening level. You would agree that many visitors to Thailand, as well as those who reside here, are not the most likeable of blokes. In fact, some of them might be characterized as pure scum. The ladies who these guys patronize will often end up with the short end of the stick, including broken hearts, broken bones, and lost savings. Does that sound familiar? It should, because it’s the mirror image of the complaints heard from many farangs about their relationships with Thai ladies.

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Even the so-called ‘respectable’ guys can have flawed parts of their characters that their mates don’t see, but which become apparent to the ladies they patronize. One girl I know fairly well went with a friend of mine – very respectable, highly educated, etc. – and she later confided to me that he went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde in the bedroom, causing her much suffering.

At the risk of writing too much, let me briefly tell the stories of three ladies that illustrate my point. Lady 1 is a ‘reformed’ bargirl who made a big effort to start a decent life. She found a farang boyfriend, who she then supported with meager earnings, and to whom she gave everything that was in her power. After living with her for a couple of years, he left her high and dry. This is the type of story that is so common that it wouldn’t make news anywhere, but it is largely the same in general terms as the ones we hear about the farangs who give their love to a lady, and who are subsequently taken advantage of, and eventually dropped. Lady 2 is a beautiful bargirl of my acquaintance who was taken home by a customer. Nothing special about that. However, at home, he was joined by a friend, and the two of them subsequently beat the crap out of her. She never worked again, partly because she was disfigured, but also because she was thoroughly traumatized. Lady 3 is a really nice woman who worked at a bar on Soi 33, but only went with customers under the condition (stated up front) of no sex. She was looking for a serious relationship, and Mr. Right finally came along. After a year of being together, though, she finds that he is seeing other ladies on a regular basis, and even supported one of them. Again, we have a rather mundane story of boy / girl relations. But, in broad terms, it is the same story that many of our broken hearted farangs sound off about.

My main point is that the tales of woe we regularly hear about from farangs who get involved with Thai women are being played out on both sides, and that we should recognize that at least as many Thai ladies are being hurt by their farang lovers / boyfriends / gics as vice versa. Lives are being ruined, hearts broken, and sometimes bodies are being mutilated. Yet, the Thai lady side is rarely reported, even though they have equal reason to have as bad a view of the farang men as the men have reasons to dislike them. There are rotten apples on both sides of the farang man / Thai lady equation. This doesn’t make the actions ‘right’ or acceptable, but a realization of this point could provide a better understanding of what’s going on, and blame for the rotten actions should be placed on the individuals involved, and not on a whole class of people.

Enough of that. Take care.

Stickman's thoughts:

The point you make is a good one and yes, when you talk with the girls from time to time you do hear of some pretty horrible experiences that some have had…

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